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Grateful Dead Live at Robertson Gym, UC Santa Barbara on 1977-02-27

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Grateful Dead Live at Robertson Gym, UC Santa Barbara on 1977-02-27

Topics Live concert

Minglewood Blues, Loser, El Paso, Ramble On Rose, Estimated Prophet, Peggy-O, Good Lovin', Mississippi Half Step, The Music Never Stopped, Scarlet Begonias Samson & Delilah, Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Drums-> Terrapin Station-> Morning Dew, Sugar Magnolia, E: Johnny B. Goode

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Robertson Gym, UC Santa Barbara
Location Goleta, CA

Source Audience Recording: Sony ECM-280
Lineage Sony ECM-280> Sony TC-153SD ACM> R>DAT> CDR
Taped by Rob Bertrando
Transferred by


Sony ECM-280> Sony TC-153SD ACM> R>DAT> CDR taped by Dr. Rob Bertrando; via Raoul Duke; Seeded to etree by Matt Vernon; Note- d2t06 does not exist, this was merely a naming error and the show is complete as is.


Reviewer: c-freedom - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2017
Subject: Take you to the leader of the band..
GREAT SET LIST & -I am at the show feel (-:
My rating system is biased towards Soundboards.
Glad we have this and digging the in pit perspective.
"Men, gonna light my way"..
Somewhere round Rio Grande-show finally pulled me in.
If you have the time read the reviews
(I found them pretty helpful.)
Good 'Music' jam to set up 'Scarlet Begonias'!
Dig Donna's part in Begonia's
Great climax to set one..
2-Jerry gets some licks in on SAMSON
Stephen>NFA-(sounds better speakers over headphones)
-All my St. Stephen's were at the RTI
with Jeff Mattson and the Volunteers
Agree that TERRAPIN out of drums certainly ups the ante for only its second performance.
Reviewer: Gerd Zacher - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 29, 2016
Subject: great audience!
Where did Minglewood go?? [found it] Thankfully downloaded version that used to be here. They just blast off on that song! Giving the rowdy ucsb and sb audience what they want right off the bat. The young aud is one big dif to the prev night show. What I don't hear on the tape is the audience jumping up and down on the bleachers. It was wild! Anyway, didn't even know they were playing, rode my bike past the gym and saw some friends sitting on the grass outside. Asked what was going on, they gave me a ticket. Rode home, ate some peyote, returned just as the show was getting underway.
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 12, 2015
Subject: Ostensible Rarity Series

Since this show occurs the day after the renowned Swing show (one of the best shows of all time) and was the last before the March Winterland run, you'd think it would get more attention. There's only one version on the archive - and no SBD, which is bound to scare off some applicants. Don't be. The show, in the campus gym, was low-key and had only a couple thousand in attendance.

First Set. Like most of the era, the first set is consistent and solidly above average but with no real ace standouts like you find on the Spring tour, per se. Ramble is the peak, Scarlet is the fireworks, Good Lovin' is a little off and Peggy-O is understated, but otherwise a solid, '77 set. Estimated is the second-ever (premiered the day before) and the end jam is where it works. It has the "I'll ascend on wings of flame" stanza.

"When the band finished Music Never Stopped, Jerry and Bob started to take off their guitars, and Phil came running over to Jerry holding up his finger, clearly indicating "one more." Jerry shrugged, re-strapped his guitar and fired up "Scarlet Begonias." - Corry (via

Second Set. Keith is hot this show, and though you might not hear him in the mix everywhere, when you do he shines. The set's quite short, at just over an hour (after 1:25 for the first) - short and sweet. Samson has a careening second solo, with edge-of-seat appeal and excitement beyond technical perfection. A unique St. Stephen has power-chorded downbeats and almost goes somewhere else - another not-so-perfect one with odd, energy appeal. Not Fade is cohesive in spots, in others brilliant, but they're not interested in playing together here or during Drums. They were still breaking out the 2nd-ever Terrapin so it comes off exactly as the previous night (i.e. as practiced), albeit Morning Dew is likewise a straight read. Bobby and Donna are great on Sugar Mag but the rest are flagging and turn in a short show. '77, so I wonder why? '77 aficionados will need this one regardless as well as lovers of fine AUDs.

1st Set:  B-
2nd Set: B-
Overall = 3 1/2 Stars

Scarlet Begonias - 1st of the year and before >Fire (the very next show will-do) and with a different tasting jam
Samson & Delilah - feeding from excitement and pouring it back on top of heads
St. Stephen - in it's '77 version; but heavier

SOURCES: There was a better copy out there trading, but now it looks like this version (bertrando.vernon) has been updated to that version (and the Mississippi Half-Step restored). It's an incredible Bertrando AUD and it's all you need. My copy (from The Music Never Stopped Project) sounds a little different but seems to just be EQd. It would appear only one dude stepped up to the plate - and taped a work of art. Also, this is apparently one of the missing Betty Boards. Though that's sad for a show from this era, the glass-half-full angle is sure thankful to Rob for getting this one down on his 10-years-ahead-of-the-times system.
Reviewer: amillionbladesofgrass - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 23, 2015
Subject: Heaphonesandstuff
All this talk of missing frequencies and audience tapes will never sound as good. I have on thing to say, "play this shit LOUD AS FUCK on pro quality gear and hold on tight !!!! I was there, with my friends, Mark, Alex, Sandy, Billy, Jim, Robert, Larry, Karen, and others, in the second row (we were a little worn out after being on the rail in San Bernardino the night before), and this masterpiece of the art of documenting a musical event sounds EXACTLY LIKE IT SOUNDED THAT NIGHT....IF you have enough sub woofers and enough power to do it right. I double 15 inch cabinet will do the trick.
Reviewer: Russter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2015
Subject: Dead - 77 photos
I was going to school at UCSB this year. Brought in my Nikon and too a few rolls of film. Good shots of the boys. Very good show...but there are better 77 ones for sure !
Reviewer: gaZeebo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 12, 2015
Subject: tracking messed up
just a FYI, if you download this, there is no d2t06. all of the music is there. also minglewood can be downloaded below all of the other music files on this page

this is a great aud, and worth many a listen!
Reviewer: badbobby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 30, 2014
Subject: 02-27-77
The St. Stephen was clipped due to a taping bust. Our friend in the row behind us had to unplug from our mic rig (Bertrando and I) and plug his own mics in. That's the reason. There were no other songs after the Samson and before St. Stephen. My friend's copy has no cut after that. The Morning Dew is intact.
I was at both San Bernardino and this one and I prefer this show. The St. Stephen and the Morning Dew put it over the top for me.
Reviewer: Craig Schwarz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2013
Subject: Picture
We all attended this show but my friend was the smartest as he brought a camera. The best picture is of Jerry looking at the camera, Bob with a full beard and you can read "the enemy is listening" on Jerry's guitar.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2013
Subject: Gotta go with a 5 on this one...
...even though the recording has a few cuts and is *not* perfect. This one initially took me a couple of listens to tune my ear; it feels, in the ear of so many crisp, hi-hat focused soundboards, like there's something missing....but stick with it, the performance starts to shine through.

Set 1 - rock-solid. Peggy-O, *wow* - this is the year when that tune finally took on a heavy maturity - listen how woven the texture around this tune is...the Scarlet finale' is rare as a stand-alone '77 version, and they exercise it very well.

Set 2 - The beginning of this mighty St. Stephen is clipped, so it makes me wonder if there was something played between this and setlists list as much, but given that Swing was a half-hour longer than this show, I guess it's possible....any deadheads with all memory cells still in tact want to verify this?

Drums has a clip as well, but it doesn't seem like there's too much missing...this Terrapin is tricky, because the debut the day before, at the beginning of the first set, got it safely out of the gate - here they have to dial it in deep into the 2nd set - you can tell they're still stretching and finding ground for this colossus - but boy, check out how Jer and Donna lead the final "TERRAPIN!" vocal charge into the orchestral part of the tune - wow, this gives me chills. Wish they had screamed it out more often this way!

One more caveat - the semi-heartbreaking clip right after the first chord from Morning Dew lands. The transition from the final bit of the Station to here is seamlessly beautiful, but then we don't get the pleasure of hearing the song creep to life - this is a very powerful end to the suite - guess we'll just have to keep an eye out for another source some day.
Reviewer: fudoki - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2012
Subject: Equal to Swing and Cornell
Although this is the only available version on, let me point out that the bass is simply stellar.
While all tapers had the best motives, only a few of them had the technical chops to capture the "big picture".
This is, bar none, in the top 5% of AUD tapes I have ever heard, and that's a BUNCH of tapes folks.
Don't let anything stop your downloading this gem!
The amazing, experiMENTAL, Scarlet - with Zappaesque and jazz explorations, the SECOND Terrapin ever (and damn near studio perfect) followed by an amazing Dew...
The more I listen the more I like the guitar on this show.
One comment stands out - "First, it's an AUD, so it can't be top." and goes on to compare this 34 year old AUD to a recent tape! Those of us who understand the vast difference between mics and decks in 1977 and now are just amazed by the quality, and "spread" of this amazing AUD. To get this kind of AUD in 1977 took real skill - and this is all we have in this case.
Are people rating shows, or recording equipment? Methinks there are some younger folks spoiled by incredibly good modern equipment - you just can't compare '77 gear and current gear, just not fair.
Have looked hard and don't think the SBD for this show survived to the present. Hopefully, it will surface in future, as many of the SBD tapes were stolen during the Betty Cantor housing debacle. Some of these have surfaced. Hopefully more will do so...
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2012
Subject: I don't always love 77 shows in general.
There are quite a few I love. Not so much this one.
Reviewer: peasant - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2011
Subject: SBD Spoiled?
I contend that this is very good AUD quality for a 1977 show. It is easy to get spoiled on SBDs -- they're so clean and if the mix is right, everything is all there. But SBDs don't give you a sense of the ambiance of the hall. After all, music is heard as sound waves passing through air. Good AUD recordings are a treasure and it is hard to find high quality AUDs from the era before taper's pits.

Oh, by the way, I like Donna.
Reviewer: unbrobenchain???mighthavejustbroke - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2011
Subject: "." Nonintuitive
"." Nonintuitive
Reviewer: Wally Gator - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 21, 2011
Subject: Not in the Vault
Apparently, this show is not in the GD Vault. Robert Bleedstein says this could be the only known source of this show.
Reviewer: southbay823 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 3, 2011
Subject: missing shn. file...track 1 Minglewood Blues
I guess I can search elsewhere for the missing shn. file, but just thought i would make mention of it....just a blank space where the shn. file should be
Reviewer: bornindasixties - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2010
Subject: Donna=kind'77
Gang1027 hit the nail on the head, Donna was truly one of the reasons '77 sounds so good and I can't even believe I am saying that about DBD (dirty barefoot Donna, LOL) I have been having so much fun this last few weeks going back and downloading these shows from '77, as they were before my time with the band and are really new to me, but so awesome once I got turned on to the sound. There are obviously huge differneces between the various decades the band performed in, huge differences that tend to alienate one fanbase from another, which is really too bad. I still have trouble giving any one of the shows from '77 a true 5 star, but prefer to lump them together as an awesome 5 star year. I will say this, '77 also has a really long string of UNBELIEVABLE recordings that are so awesome at capturing the sound and feel of what those shows must have been like. Stony stony stuff, don't miss out.
Reviewer: Sir-Mix-Alot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2010
Subject: Bertrando
Robertrando is one of the fathers of audience recordings...this is a really good example of a spring '77 show whith full, rich Lesh and nice room sound. Give it a listen.
Reviewer: Stellablu122 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 12, 2010
Subject: Really fun to listen to
You get a excellent preview of coming attractions for the coming spring of this year. The first set is typical of this year, with some nice standouts. El Paso and the high light of the set,Peggi-O, Good Lovin' teh crowd is so pumped after this one and they roar in approval. The Music is also quite good, the Scarlet to end it is good, but not as intense as the majority they played this year, and they may have decided to hold off on Fire, although it is never suggested.

Set two starts off with a rockin' slower paced Samson that is wicked. The St. Stephen> NA is also quite good, with the NFA being the stronger of the two. The second performance of Terrapin is nice and then they dropped into a HUGE Morning Dew, the ending is outstanding.
A ragin' Sugar Magnolia, ending with a rousing SSDD seals the set and then you get a high octane JBG.
The audience recording is a blast to listen to as well.
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 1, 2010
Subject: Cali Sizzler
Incredible show from recording and musical standpoints. The instrumentaily, vocals, and overall energy are off the charts--Jer is particularly on point!

Excellent versions of Half-Step, Music, and St. Stephen, among others.
Reviewer: pakmule - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 23, 2010
Subject: Finding the .Shn for Minglwood
For those whom are looking for the missing minglewood .shn file..... after the last song, you can download what says is a video of Minglewood but is in fact the "missing " .Shn file. I found it by accident, hope it helps, as this recording is one of the most amazing tapes recorded from the audience I have EVER HEARD from 1977, other than a few master Uher reels using AKG C1's!! 9.75 out of 10 I declare
Reviewer: dtzcuzn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2010
Subject: Where's the file?
Good recording,fun show but where is the SHN file for Minglewood?
Reviewer: gang1027 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2010
Subject: donna=awesome
no reason to hate donna, in fact i think is what makes 77 such a great year of music
Reviewer: udmomma - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2009
I have been looking for this show for some time. I am new to the site. This is a terrific show!
Reviewer: Direwolf_11581 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2009
Subject: Ah Yes
Ah Yes Donna the girl you love to hate.I really Do Not like her at all and the sad part of it is is that the Grateful Dead were so good in these years and they would of been even better if it wasnt for her.
Reviewer: FoureTwentey420 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2009
Subject: Scarlet
One of the last stand alone scarlets? You ever wish you could push donna in front of a moving train but then feel so bad for the train that you wish you could take it back. Thats what her little solo section in the scarlet here sounds like... if you listen closely you can even hear the railroad ties which are alot more in tune than donnas zen tricks.
Reviewer: ststephen49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 12, 2009
Subject: Some people...
Was checking out this show in anticipation of a coming DSO show on Feb 27th here in Milwaukee. My son turned me on to DSO last year with a grand 1-31-78 concert. Unfortunately I'm laid up with a broken leg so I'll have to wait for a review. But if this is what they choose to play, it's an outstanding setlist with Ramble, Mississippi, Music Never Stopped, St. Stephen, Terrapin, Dew-don't think I could've picked a better one. As I listened to this show (a fine show with them doing what only they can) and read some reviews, I noticed some oddball - SIZHLA - call all the band members but Jerry dirtbags. It's really apparent this guy has never had this music work it's way into his soul, assuming that's intact. He just doesn't get it because to say that, to me, is sacriligeous. I mean, how far up his ass IS his head? We all have our different opinions on shows, that's natural. But the community can handle that cause we're all unique, different head spaces, venues, drugs taken or not, band's hot or not. But name calling-not cool little brother. I've alwaysbeen a laid back guy, but this pissed me off-could be the good medication. My Dead history runs about 50 shows from '70 - '94 and I've always taken the good with the bad and enjoyed every minute. To those of you who understand this music is lifeblood, and I'm so grateful this site exists so we can continue to dip into the well. Because when I do that I always come up recharged and reborn. Hallelujah !
Reviewer: NRPS - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 25, 2008
Subject: A must have!
I love this show! Second ever Estimated and Terrapin!
I would love to have a sound board of this... if anyone knows of a soundboard copy, please e-mail me!
Long Live The Grateful Dead!
Reviewer: Since 77 - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2008
Subject: I Don't Get It.
I'm not one to take a contrarian position just for the sake of lively discussion. I must admit that I don't find this show to be all that inspiring or great. There are interesting bits, but it sounds pretty average to me, in general. I wouldn't rank it even in the top 10 of the year. How anyone could compare it favorably to 2/26 is baffling; IMHO, 2/26 is one of the greats of '77 or any year for that matter. After reading (mostly) glowing reviews, I was disappointed in this show. It's got decent sound for an AUD, but just for the show alone, I truly don't think it deserves more than 3 stars. No offense, my Head friends -- we don't always hear things the same, do we?
Reviewer: He Live's - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2008
Subject: top stuff
inspired playing, sweet recording, don't miss it
Reviewer: paulieboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2008
Subject: 2/27/77-Top 3 of "77
Having had the pleasure to attend 4 shows in 1977 and also to have listened to every show available in the trading circles, I have no doubt this show is one of the best-despite the fact that it is an aud. Now wvery one loves a soundboard, me included. But if you listen to this show what jumps out at ya is the energy is amazing, due in part to the crowd. Also Jerry's playing on this eve is over the top. Just listen to scarlet, music, dew--these are incredible versions of these songs in a year that has many incredible versions. If you want to be biased because this is an audience tape ( and for a tape from 31 years ago this is a great aud) so be it. If you want to hear 2 other amazing auds from '77 check out 11/5/77 from Rochester and 11/4/77 from Colgate-both of which I listen to over the boards! Enjoy the tunes!
Reviewer: smgarcia - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2008
Subject: Hmm...
I've listened to the first set so far and there definitely is some good music for 1977. I think the first set is better than 75% of 1977 material.

That being said how can people rate this one of the top, if not top show of 1977? First, it's an AUD. So it can't be top. The problem with AUD's are you don't all frequencies with the same intensity. Billy and Mickey seem like they are 30 yards away from the music. In addition it's quite hard to hear Keith and this was his best year as evidence to everything he played in May 1977.

The show may be a 4-5 star, but we will never know unless we get a SBD. This is a decent AUD, I have better ones in my iTunes and iPod. I've downloaded about 200 SBD and AUD's over the past year and this is above average, but not excellent.

By the way, for an example of a great AUD download the recent Fundraiser for Obama on this website, courtesy of Phil, Bobby, and Mickey. Now that is a brilliant AUD.
Reviewer: Fin, jr. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 26, 2007
Subject: 5 star system
Part of the beauty of this 5-star rating system is that I can find some of the best shows with an average rating of 4 stars. This is because those with nothing relevant to add about a particular show will give a one-star rating for no apparent reason. In one or more cases here it appeared that our reviewer was influenced by resentment. Anyhow, I get to listen to a major show with the given qualities I prefer -- good AUD tape, rockin' audience, my favorite band.
I give at least one star for each member of the band who showed up to play and/or sing. So five would have to be about the minimum. Mine goes up to eleven. 2/27/77 was right up there.
Reviewer: Ivan.Balakhonov - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 7, 2007
Subject: Great AUD
Great audience recording of a decent GD show. It deserves five stars, but it's not A+ grade... A kind of experimental show I think, a lot of interesting moments. Nice jamming in Scarlet Begonias
Reviewer: willowgordon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2007
Subject: Preaching on the burning shore...
This is inspirational Grateful Dead music. Didn't realize that it took place on a Sunday until I'd heard it a dozen times, but it always fills me with the spirit. Often feel as if I'm in the presence of friendly ghosts when listening to good AUDs, and this is a haunting recording. It's full and well-balanced, if a tad cymbal-heavy, and even with all the kind SBDs from the era, I just keep coming back to this AUD. The first set is interesting, with a mid-set early Weir rendition of "Good Lovin'" (sans "rap") and a set-closing, light-on-the-Donna "Scarlet Begonias" that features a big hot jam. Unfortunately the first few seconds of "St. Stephen" are missing, and "Drums" has a cut, but this is a superlative concert. I have no words for the "Terrapin Station" > "Morning Dew" sequence. I guess this show will always stand in the shadow of Swing Auditorium's shaft of light, but this performance is angelic in its own right. These men gonna light my way.
Reviewer: DarkAura - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 28, 2006
Subject: Post Review...Whatever that means...
Thanks to the men and women that made all this happen... Jerry Garcia(RIP), Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kruetzman, PIGPEN(RIP) crazy mother-f love ya, Keith Godcheaux(RIP),his wife Donna(you rule), Tom Contantine(A little is so much sometimes), Brent Mydland(RIP), Bruce Hornby, Vince Welnick(RIP)... Bill Graham(RIP), the road crew, all the DeadHeads, and UCSB... May I attend that college for my Computer Science Degree... Peace Out To All The Friends I Never Met.... Especially Rob Bertrando... You picked the most killer spot to Mic this show and to me it is Heaven... See you there...

Michael Thomas
Reviewer: hjl1450 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2006
Subject: Welcome to '77
Second show of the year and in many ways, one of the best. Innocently new and fresh, almost Winterland in scope and sound. One such audience tape that is fine as any SBD....the jam into NFA heralds what's to come later in the spring and on, with the opening drums reverberating into Jerry's charming licks! A right on moment that has 76 circled all over it, with a California dreamin' winterscape for the early second semester in '77!
Reviewer: soapbox3 - favorite - May 10, 2006
Subject: No...
more downloads?????

Not even AUDS?

The times have changed.
Reviewer: skuzzlebutt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 6, 2006
Subject: Good start to a good year!
2/26 has the novelty of opening with the first Terrapin, but in my opinion, this gem holds up better as a whole show. Also, for some reason they shift back to the "old" St. Stephen arrangement, although they went back to the "waltz time" version the next time they played it. Anyway, '77 is packed end to end with killers but this show holds up just fine.

This is another excellent Bertrando audience recording that brings out the full wallop of the band while not losing the subtleties and venue ambiance. This is definitely worth the download.
Reviewer: birdsgosouth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2006
Subject: Yup
A very quality AUD from a very quality year. Yes, between Terrapin and Sugar Magnolia that says Morning Dew up there. Good ol' Dr. Rob never lets you down!!
Reviewer: SpiderBaby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2006
Subject: Great show and good quality recording...
I'm loving these '77 shows. This is a very nice recording for an audience recorded show. I wish I could have hit some of these shows, but I was only three years old. As some of the other shows from this year, a great Scarlett (without a FireOnTheMountain)- I love the way Phil plays on the Scarlett!

Reviewer: drmikie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 20, 2006
Subject: 2/26 & 2/27/77
For the show on the 26th, I almost didn't make it for the start of the show. I neglected to get directions to the venue - oops. My buddy met me in the parking lot with the tickets. We sat in the balcony - incredible show.
We caravaned in two cars to Santa Barbara (both us had prevously attended UCSB)for the show on the 27th. I never thought that they could reach the heights of the 26th - but the energy level was unreal in Robertson Gym - what a wonderful show - what wonderful memories.
Reviewer: Francklyn's_Tower - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 4, 2006
Subject: worth a careful listen...
I was lucky enough the see the Dead intermittently over a 20 year period, starting in the golden summer of 1974 with the Wall of Sound (as a high school student), through the endless summer afternoons in Hartford, Ventura, and elsewhere, finally ending up at Highgate, Vermont in 1994 (as a professor with my graduate students). Over that period (and before) I have been fortunate to be surrounded by tapeheads at every turn, and followed the band\'s every musical twist and turn.

To this day, the Robertson Gym show (2/27/77) stands out in my mind as the best of all shows I was lucky enough to hear in person. The discerning listener will notice that the previous night in San Berdoo is the #3 favorite download of all time, while #2 is the Barton Hall show at Cornell later that spring. So there was some serious mojo going on in 1977, as many have noted. While the Terrapin that opened the previous night was quite an extraordinary thing to behold, the rest of what followed hewed pretty closely to what we heard that night in Rob Gym. So why do I feel this show is so special?

The first point is that, in contrast to nearly all other concerts I ever attended, this show was possessed of a remarkable combination of controlled fury and brevity, not a single extraneous note all night. Often, the music in a dead show is like a car trying to leave the parking lot in a mall, backing in and out of spaces in hopes of finding egress. None of that here. Instead, Rob Gym featured an exquisite balance between the fixed structure of the song and improvisational tension contributed by the band. The individual performances were remarkable. Weir in particular was a man posessed, a veritable growling tiger: check out Minglewood, Sampson & Delilah, and Estimated. Donna is always a controversial element of the band's sound, here she hits all the notes spot on for a change. Jerry unwraps a new paint box of guitar tones for these 1977 shows- check out the Roy Buchanan-esque solo in Loser. Finally, the drumming in this show is incredible; Bill and Mickey are locked beautifully throughout, providing an incredible sense of propulsion that drives the band without a single let up. Finally, follow how the band beautifully manipulates the tempos and dynamics throughout.

As for individual songs, I will let the listener explore these: save one. The band closed the first set with one of the prettiest readings of Scarlet Begonias you will hear, including the version at Barton Hall played months later that others have raved about. It's instructive to compare the two versions. At Rob Gym, the song was a perfectly self contained little symphonic tone poem, with a beatiful jazzy cadenza that springs out from Donna's melisma, hitting several nice little peaks before closing strongly on the final chorus. In later shows, this song would develop the link into Fire on the Mountain. As nice as many of those renditions were, FOTM is anchored by a simple 2 chord progression that can be as much a trap as an element of musical liberation. In comparison to the Barton Hall performance of Scarlet, the tempo of the Rob Gym version of Scarlet is much crisper throughout, and stands on its own merits.

You will also notice that much of the structure and song selection of Rob Gym would show up in the Barton Hall set list and sequences. Thus, if you want to understand why the spring tour of 1977 represents one of the high points of the band's 30 year career, you must go back and sample pivotal 2/26 and 2/27 shows, where the experimental work to develop the musical program was done. Having never talked to anyone in the band personally, I can only guess that they studied those tapes carefully, and figured out how to capture lightning in a jar.
Reviewer: SayItsNotSo - favorite - November 26, 2005
Subject: Pinch Me
Tell me this isn't happening. The downloads are history? This is so not the spirit of the Dead that once was so much about sharing and letting it flow. It seems the old spirit is no more. A sad day indeed.
Reviewer: Doc Hollywood - favorite - November 26, 2005
Subject: What the f*ck??
Reviewer: sizhla - favorite - November 24, 2005
Subject: Hmmm
Well it looks like they've gone and pulled all the soundboards off. Pretty much confirms my suspicions that Besides Jerry, who I know wasnt a saint, the rest of the band were pretty much dirtbags. With the exception of I guess Phil, Mickey, and Bill. So wait that leaves Bobby. All I can say is thank God for the trading community because now the only way most kids in younger generations will be able to hear all the nectar is by buying overpriced CD's. Glad I skipped the Ratdog show the other night here too, forty fewer bucks for bobby's little-boy-lovin' ass.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2005
Subject: Mighty nice
A better show than the previous night, no question. It's consistently tight throughout the night. Dew fans, this is a good one comming out of Terrapin.

An interesting aspect is that unless people had been at the previous night's show, the audience would never had heard Terrapin Station before. The album wasn't released until several months later.
Reviewer: realdeal - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2005
Subject: smokin'
Solid playing all the way through! Solid sound quality. A "5" - as one you want in the rotation.
Reviewer: 1974Eyes - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2005
Subject: Great Aud
The previous viewer obviously knows nothing about AUD shows. This show sets the bar high for 70's auds. 5 star sound.
Reviewer: JaMmM On - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2005
Subject: poor sound quality...
great show.... good playing.... but the sound quality is horrible.... there's a hiss throughout the whole show, that's quite annoying... the sound is echoey, and the vocals sound like they were recorded from the other room... nothing like a soundboard...
Reviewer: Peacefuljon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2005
Subject: 77 what a way to start a year
2-26-77 was so smoken with !st time songs...but this show the day after is special as well smokes.... 77 was a greatful dead year... jems are everywhere.... This Scarlet jam st.stephen blows 5-8-77 away....
Reviewer: Peacefuljon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2005
Subject: 77 what a way to start a year
2-26-77 was so smoken with !st time songs...but this show the day after is special as well smokes.... 77 was a greatful dead year... jems are everywhere....
Reviewer: woozler32 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 4, 2005
Subject: A+
this entire show is ON

as far as aud recording... A++
Reviewer: rowjimmy20 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2005
Subject: Rat-tat-tat
I have a lot of shows and most of them are soundboards. Sometimes we forget how good Billy and Micky can bang away on those drums....but audience tapes like these remind us how rockin they are!
Reviewer: f@!^yeah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2005
Subject: a ripper
sounds like this one ripped. Its nice to hear.
Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 29, 2004
Subject: This is a 5
While the rest of '77 is hot so is this - the dew is off the charts. Cannot in good conscience give this a 4 it does not deserve it. This stands alone in absolute terms and relative to the rest of the year.
Reviewer: chipflips - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2004
Subject: what a weekend
Imagine having Swing last night and this one tonight. What a weekend!
Reviewer: Ski Taos - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 4, 2004
Subject: One of those hidden gems...
I always wished this show would find its way to mass appeal via Dick's Picks. I attribute the show's lack of notoriety due to poor circulation and no available soundboard (Vault, maybe??); Anyways, a terrific show with a stellar setlist and simply incredible Terrapiin->Morning Dew combination; How I wish these were more frequent!!!
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/9/2004
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